Principal Commissions of the General Synod

Clergy Discipline Commission
Crown Nominations Commission
Dioceses Commission
Faith and Order Commission
Fees Advisory Commission
Legal Advisory Commission
Legal Aid Commission
Liturgical Commission

Clergy Discipline Commission
The Clergy Discipline Commission is constituted under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. Under that Measure the Commission is required to give general advice to disciplinary tribunals, the courts of the Vicars-General, bishops and archbishops as to the penalties which are appropriate in particular circumstances; issue codes of practice and general policy guidance to persons exercising functions in connection with clergy discipline; and make annually to the General Synod through the House of Bishops a report on the exercise of its functions during the previous year.

Under the 2003 Measure the Commission is also required to compile and maintain 'provincial panels' of persons available for appointment as members of a disciplinary tribunal or a Vicar-General's Court for the purposes of dealing with cases under it and to formulate guidance for the purposes of the 2003 Measure generally and to promulgate it in a Code of Practice approved by the Dean of the Arches and the General Synod.

The Commission monitors the exercise of discipline and highlights and encourages best practice.

Chair and President of Tribunals Sir Andrew McFarlane (Rt Hon Lord Justice McFarlane)

Deputy Chair and Deputy President of Tribunals Sir Mark Hedley

The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds

The Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, Bishop of Lincoln

The Ven. Moira Astin, Archdeacon of Reigate

Mr Martin Follett

Dr Jamie Harrison

Mr David Mills MBE

The Ven. Jackie Searle, Archdeacon of Gloucester

The Revd Canon Jane Sinclair

The Revd Canon John Sinclair

Canon Carol Wolstenholme OBE

Secretary Sion Hughes Carew

Legal Office, Church House, Great Smith St, London SW1P 3AZ
020 7898 1371


Crown Nominations Commission

For up-to-date information regarding the CNC please visit their own webpage linked here


Dioceses Commission
A Dioceses Commission was set up in 1978 under the Dioceses Measure 1978. In 2008 it was replaced by a new body of the same name, established under the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007. Part II of that Measure makes provision for such matters as the reorganization of diocesan boundaries, the creation and revival of suffragan sees, and the delegation of episcopal functions by diocesan bishops to suffragan and assistant bishops.

More information about the duties of the Commission, its membership and the current programme of work may be found from the link on the right of this page or by clicking here.


The Faith and Order Commission
The Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod came into being in 2010 and replaced the Faith and Order Advisory Group and the Doctrine Commission.

The former House of Bishops Theological Group became an Episcopal Reference Group within the Commission.

The Commission (FAOC) has fifteen members and an episcopal chair (currently the Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend Dr John Hind).

FAOC advises the House of Bishops, the General Synod and the Council for Christian Unity on ecclesiological and ecumenical matters and acts as a theological resource for the Church of England as a whole.

FAOC published its report The Journey of Christian Initiation in 2011 and is currently working on the theology of church leadership. Follow the link on the right for a preview.

Secretary: Revd Canon Dr Jeremy Worthen from whom further details can be obtained.
Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ
tel 020 7898 1488

For more detailed information please click on the link below

Faith and Order Commission


Fees Advisory Commission
The Fees Advisory Commission is constituted under Part II of the Ecclesiastical Fees Measure 1986, as amended by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2000 and the Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure 2011. It makes recommendations as to certain fees to be paid to ecclesiastical judges, legal officers and others, and embodies those recommendations in Orders which are laid before the General Synod for approval. If approved, the Orders take effect unless annulled by either House of Parliament, and are published as Statutory Instruments.

Chair Mr John Alpass

The Rt Revd Richard Blackburn, Bishop of Warrington
The Revd Stephen Trott
Mr Bill Husselby
Mr Niall Blackie
Mr Geoffrey Tattersall QC
The Revd Canon John Rees
The Revd Canon Joyce Jones
Ms Josile Munro

Secretary Sion Hughes Carew

Legal Office, Church House, Great Smith St, London SW1P 3AZ
020 7898 1371


Legal Advisory Commission
The Legal Advisory Commission gives advice on legal matters of general interest to the Church which are referred to it by the Archbishops' Council and its Divisions, Boards, Councils and Commissions, by the General Synod and its Houses and Commissions, by the Church Commissioners and the Church of England Pensions Board, and by diocesan clerical and lay office holders. The Commission cannot accept requests for advice from private individuals or secular bodies. In addition, the Commission cannot normally give opinions on contentious matters, but it may be able to do so (depending on the circumstances) if the facts are agreed by all parties to the dispute, all parties join in referring the matter to the Commission for an opinion and it is not (and is not expected to become) the subject-matter of proceedings in the courts.

The opinions of the Commission and its predecessor, the Legal Board, on matters of general interest are published by Church House Publishing in a loose-leaf form under the title Legal Opinions Concerning the Church of England. Copies can be obtained from Christian bookshops, including Church House Bookshop. A new edition was published in 2007.

Chair The Revd Canon and Worshipful Dr Rupert Bursell QC
Vice-Chair The Revd Canon John Rees

The Rt Worshipful Charles George QC

The Rt Worshipful Timothy Briden

The Rt Worshipful Peter Collier QC

Ms Caroline Mockford

Mr Stephen Slack

Mr Christopher Packer

Prof. David McClean CBE QC DCL FBA

The Worshipful Mark Hill QC

The Worshipful Dr Charles Mynors

The Worshipful Morag Ellis QC

The Worshipful Ruth Arlow

Mr Peter Beesley

Mr Peter Foskett

Miss Cordelia Hall

The Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, Bishop of Lincoln

The Ven. Douglas Dettmer, Archdeacon of Totnes

The Revd Paul Benfield

The Very Revd Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester

Mr Robert Pearce QC

His Honour Judge David Hodge QC

Mr Andrew Roberts

Secretary The Revd Alexander McGregor
Legal Office, Church House, Great Smith St, London SW1P 3AZ
020 7898 1722
Fax: 020 7898 1718/1721

There is a useful page containing legal opinions and other guidance.


Legal Aid Commission
The Legal Aid Commission operates under the Church of England (Legal Aid) Measure 1994, and administers the Legal Aid Fund which was originally set up under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963 and is continued by the 1994 Measure.

Legal aid under the 1994 Measure may be granted, subject to various conditions, for certain types of proceedings before Ecclesiastical Courts and tribunals; details of eligibility for legal aid and the Commission's procedures, together with an application form for legal aid, are obtainable from the Secretary, on request.

His Honour Judge Andrew Rutherford

The Ven Christine Allsopp (Peterborough) - Archdeacon of Northampton
The Revd Paul Benfield* (Blackburn)
The Revd Geoffrey Harbord* (Sheffield)
The Ven Clive Mansell* (Rochester) - Archdeacon of Tonbridge
Mrs Isabel Adcock* (Chelmsford)
Mrs Rosaline Brewer* (York)
Mrs Jennifer Dunlop* (Chester)
Mr Aiden Hargreaves-Smith* (London)
The Revd Canon Joyce Jones* (Wakefield)
The Rt Revd Alistair Magowan, Bishop of Ludlow

*member of the General Synod

Secretary Stephen York
Legal Office, Church House, Great Smith St, London SW1P 3AZ
020 7898 1703
Fax: 020 7898 1718/1721

There is a page with information on Legal Aid with an application form.

Liturgical Commission
In response to resolutions by the Convocations in October 1954, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York appointed a standing Liturgical Commission 'to consider questions of a liturgical character submitted to them from time to time by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and to report thereon to the Archbishops'. In 1971 the Commission became a permanent Commission of the General Synod. Its functions are:


  1. to prepare forms of service at the request of the House of Bishops for submission to that House in the first instance;
  2. to advise on the experimental use of forms of service and the development of liturgy;
  3. to exchange information and advice on liturgical matters with other Churches both in the Anglican Communion and elsewhere;
  4. to promote the development and understanding of liturgy and its use in the Church.

The Liturgical Commission's work is staffed from Church House by Dr Matthew Salisbury and Ms Sue Moore.  All of the Common Worship texts and the Book of Common Prayer can be found under the Prayer and Worship webpages, which you can access by clicking here.


The Bishop of Exeter

Vice Chair

The Bishop of Hereford


Ms Shayne Ardron
The Revd Dr Andrew Atherstone
The Revd Philip Barnes
The Revd Mark Earey
Ms Kashmir Garton
The Revd Canon Dr Christopher Irvine
The Revd Canon Dr Simon Jones
Mr Simon Kershaw
The Revd George Lane
The Revd Fiona Mayer-Jones
Mrs Lucy Moore
Dr Bridget Nichols
The Revd Canon Dr Jo Spreadbury
The Revd Canon Dr Samuel Wells

National Liturgy and Worship Adviser Dr Matthew Salisbury